I received an email recently from a woman who stumbled across A Slice of Life Writing while doing research about adoption and birth mothers. Through a chain of events she discovered, and subsequently informed me, of a modest sum of money in a bank account that had belonged to my birth mother.
You hear about these things sometimes–where someone dies, no one knows about a bank account they had, and the funds sit there unless a family member discovers the account and claims the money.
Having read a recent post where I talked about searching for my birth mother’s unmarked grave, and the consideration I was giving to purchasing a marker, this individual suggested that perhaps the funds could be used for just that purpose.
Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?
The problem, I realized immediately, is that even if I thought it was a good idea to attempt to claim these funds that belonged to my birth mother it’s extremely unlikely I would be able to do so given that I was adopted.
The woman who gave birth to me chose to sever her ties with me when I was born. She may be my birth mother–or first mother if you like that term better, although in my mind it doesn’t fit my circumstance–but in the eyes of the law there is no connection between the two of us.
I won’t, of course, do anything about the funds in the bank account.
I am still considering having a marker put on her grave though. I can do that whether the law recognizes her as my mother or not.